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2003/April
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ROMILEY NEWS

The Cowboy Builders Carrying On

Still Headless
Still Unpainted
Pavement Parkers
Romiley's refurbishment saga continues to drag on. The main road has been resurfaced and outfitted with a new set of white and yellow lines, but there appears to be no sense of urgency about the remaining jobs, such as sorting out the new lighting.
   The east end of the village still has two unfinished new street lamps -- this one beside the Stock Dove and another directly across the road. During the second week of the month, a lorry parked beside the one on the north side of Compstall Road for a while.
   The vehicle had one lamp-top on it, so there was much speculation about which lamp post they would top-off and why they couldn't do both lamps at once. In the event, the truck drove off some time later in the morning and both lamp posts remained unfinished.
   Something else that is dragging on and on is the painting job. Most of the new lamp posts are now black, apart from a grey stripe awaiting gold trim, but this one at the mini-park on Compstall Road remains dark grey. Rumour has it that the cowboys have run out of black paint and they're waiting for a surplus tin from another job before they paint another lamp post.
   The pavement parkers are still at it. Here are two more causing further damage to the pavement at the Compstall Road end of Carlton Avenue.
   Our Trivial Democrat-dominated council seems to have a real problem with pavements -- presumably because the only time any of the councillors visits Romiley, it's by car and he/she never has to tread our broken footpaths. As a result, the Romiley Residents' Committee is seriously considering starting a rumour that the council has weapons of mass destruction stashed here so that Prez Bush will gallop in for a spot of regime change.
   A new bunch of councillors seems to be the only hope Romiley has that the council will spend the ratepayers' cash on something of real benefit to the people -- instead of endlessly rebuilding the centre of Stockport.

Lamp tops
StandardZone End
Leaving Romiley, east end
Further to the saga of the twin unfinished street lamps at, and opposite, the Stock Dove : it looks like the lorry referred to above turned up with the wrong kind of tops.
   Now that they've been topped off in time for Easter, the lamps at the eastern end of the 'New Lamp Zone' have fancy cut-out tops with ROMILEY arcing up and above a picture, which may possibly be intended to be an artist's impression of what the village is like.
   It seems that somebody has been making an effort to turn conventional street furniture into something a little extraordinary.
   Okay, so the village looks a little prettier -- but that still doesn't justify the cost of exchanging one set of perfectly adequate steet lights for some new ones.


HOME NEWS

Mugger Gets His Alibis Sorted Out

The MuggerBritain's stumbling economic performance is due to 'sluggish growth in the eurozone', according to the Chancellor. And the reason why everyone is being required to cough up more dosh to his War Chest, despite the façade of stand-still and giving cash away in the budget, is nothing to do with his inept economic forecasts. The rest of the world didn't live up to his expectations, and even though he would like us to believe that Britain is doing much better than anyone else -- with the implication that it's all thanks to his meddling -- then New Labour's customers are just going to have to suffer a bit more.
   [So what else is new? Ed.]
   In his budget speech, the Mugger let everyone know that his divorce from Prudence is now complete and the index of Hot Air versus Content for the harangue showed that he is now terrified to do anything in case it's in another wrong direction. In effect, he's going to 'invest' the nation's assets in a global lottery and retire to his bunker with his fingers crossed, leaving New Labour's customers to enjoy the effects of Tax Creep, that most pernicious of Stealth Taxes.
   Hey, Mr. Bush! How about some regime change in the UK?

Shock Conclusion To 'Millionaire' Trial

Most people thought that having to cut short a session of the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? fraud trial due to a couple of jurors having uncontrollable coughs might just persuade the jury to let the Major and his missus go. But now that a nice big earner for the legal profession has reached the end of phase one -- the case is said to have cost a couple of million -- the conspiracy theorists are going into battle.
   The main direction of their thoughts seems to be that the TV production company Celador set it all up as a free publicity stunt as an alternative to running a 'paid for' advertising campaign -- especially as they're going to show the programme containing the alleged cheating over the Easter weekend. The conspiracists are also working to bring both Saddam Hussein and the CIA into the story to give it mass appeal.
Celador are going to make a film of the story of 'how their show almost fell victim to a sting by Major Ingram and his associates'. They're also claiming an audience of 15,000,000 for their transmission of the major winning his million, which must have made the advertisers very happy.

Crony News Update -- Which The Government Would Prefer You Not To Read

Lord Irvine, the notorious wallpaper-buying at taxpayer's expense Lord Chancellor and Tony Crony, suffered the humiliation of a cut in the 12.6% pay rise recommended by his review board to the pedestrian level of an average dogsbody government minister. But he's still determined to grab as much taxpayer's cash as he can while he can. So the government had to bury confirmation that he's going to get a bung to his pension fund based on the 12.6%. And where better to do this than under the encouraging war news as Basra passed into British hands and the Yanks started on Baghdad?

The Vice-PrezVice-Prez Stays Put

Vice-Prez Blair has told his chancellor again -- and for the umpteenth time -- that he's not going to move over. He still has lots left to do, he says.
   His main ambition, of course, remains to take the UK into the eurozone, which he sees as a certain ticket to a soft job as president of the EU when his party chucks him out. So it looks like the Mugger will have to grit his teeth and chew his nails at the Treasury for a while longer.

Soft On Crime, Soft On The Causes Of Crime

The Sentencing and Advisory Panel at David Blunkett's Home Office wants judges to stop sending muggers to gaol unless they cripple their victims.
   Blunk is also planning to let criminals out of gaol earlier 'to ease overcrowding'. Under the new scheme, prisoners will do half the sentence handed out by the court less a further 4.5 months. So someone sent down to give Society a break for 2 years will now be 'gone' only for about 7 months.

Blunk Strikes Again
The Home Secretary decided that it would be a good idea to make it illegal for people to have sex outdoors where they could be seen from a public place, e.g. in their garden or in a car. The intended penalty for this terrible crime was to be up to six months in gaol -- the length of the sentence, presumably, being proportional to the degree of outrage caused. Curiously, though, a couple 'at it' in the comfort of their own home in a room without curtains would have been safe from Blunk's Sex Police.
   After seconds thoughts, the wheels came off the scheme. Someone realized that the new law would make legal, sex in a public lavatory behind a closed cubicle door. So it had to be ditched.

Things Going Horribly Wrong

The Mugger1. The government's new scheme for tax credits.
A lot of people found the application form and the even bigger explanation form too intimidating. The Inland Revenue didn't have enough staff to process the forms or handle telephone inquiries. The customers applied late. The Revenue was late supplying essential tax codes to employers. And so another of the Mugger's bright ideas hit the rocks.
Inland Revenue staff are blaming the computer system supplied by the US firm EDS for screwing things up. Apparently, "The system crashes at least once every day, often for several hours, and it can take up to a quarter of an hour to serve the next page of a document."
   2. The housing market.
House prices soared, people took out mortgages at crazy multiples of up to six times their salary, and then the bubble burst. But didn't we do all this in the Nineteen-Eighties?
   3. The weather.
A mid-April heat wave made bits of the UK hotter then Greece, Spain and the European Mediterranean coast. The government had to issue pollution warnings. And then along came the Easter holiday and we were back to winter again.

The Chief Suspect Is Dead, Publish (bits of) The Report

Are we supposed to be concerned that the government and the security services fought a 'dirty war' against Irish terrorists in the 1980s? A lot more summary justice for murdering criminals, and their apologists, could well have saved a few lives and spared the British people at large a whole lot of misery.
   So thank you for the report, Sir John Stevens. Now go and get on with some useful police work -- if you still remember how to do it. Go and persecute some muggers and burglars. And any judges who won't lock them up to give Society a rest from their activities.


PARKING NEWS

Extortion Plot Fails

Mr. Jack Williams of Longton, Stoke, is showing remarkable fortitude in the face of an attempt at extortion by Stoke-on-Trent council. His car was legally parked, as far as he could tell, when he caught a train to Birmingham one morning. There were double yellow lines painted on either side of the car when he returned to it -- and a parking ticket on the windscreen even though the car was still in a line-free zone! The council was unhelpful initially when Mr. Williams rang to complain, but the parking ticket was cancelled eventually. We're now waiting to hear if the council will be interviewed by the police over a clear case of attempted extortion.


COMMUNICATIONS NEWS

Rebuilding Trust & Confidence At Home

Mohammed SahafMajor changes in the ranks of the government's special advisors are required to 'rebuild trust' says the Committee on Standards in Public Life. Indeed, members of the the committee have admitted that there are virtually no worthwhile standards upheld by the Blair regime and that its spin doctors are totally out of control. Thus a radical 'regime change' on the communications side is required.
   As a first step, Mr. Albert Hussein, Vice-Prez Blair's spokesman for Downing Street's Public Enlightenment Executive, has announced that the reconstruction process will be rendered speedier by the recruitment of a considerable talent in the media relations field.
   Recently employed by the World's Favourite Despot in Baghdad, Mr. Mohammed Sahaf is believed to be in active negotiations with Downing Street over a post as a Special Communications Executive. He is world-famous for his ability to stick to the party line no matter what, and competition to sign up this world-class communicator is said to be very fierce.


MARKETINGNEWS

Sahaf Talking Doll Joins The Range

Iraqi Communications Minister Mohammed Sahaf has been immortalized as an Action-Man style doll. He is available in 2 types -- a standard doll in combat gear and a more expensive talking version. He joins a range which includes Osama bin Laden in drag; a Saddam Hussein doll, which alternates benevolent smiles with fierce glares; a George Bush doll, who talks incomprehensible rot, just like the real thing; a Mugger vampire doll, which delivers a lecture on Endogenous Growth Theory; and a Vice-Prez Blair doll, which apologizes endlessly.


FOREIGN NEWS

Attention French Readers! Vote On This

Would you prefer the national identifier for your country to be:

  1. Froggies
  2. Cheese-eating surrender monkeys
  3. Leave me out of this

Please email your vote to the Black Flag right away!
   And if you feel strongly on this issue, vote early and vote often.
   Results next month.


WAR NEWS

Is It Really Over?

Kabooom!The Yanks wasted four perfectly good 2,000 lb bombs on wiping out a restaurant in Baghdad, hoping to take out the World's Favourite Despot and his entourage. Which seems rather strange when most people think Saddam got out of the capital city ages before and he was lurking safely somewhere in Tikrit, or even Damascus, at the time.
   The lack of 'sightings' of him in Baghdad is being taken by many as proof positive that Tikrit or 'somewhere in Syria' is where he really is. Experts are now discounting the 'sighting' in a Romiley pub last month, putting it down to 'an excess of alcoholic enthusiasm'.

What To Do With The Looters

It is traditional to shoot looters on sight to force a criminal community to curb its instincts. But no one is allowed to kill civilians in Iraq except by accident. So what's the solution to the looting in the major cities? Shoot the looters but not to kill them? And put further strain on the devastated hospitals, which have been heavily looted?
   Perhaps the answer is to organize a temporary police force of US pilots, the most accident-prone bunch of guys on the planet. Then, when the bodies of dead looters are hauled away from a crime scene, an official spokesman can trot out the standard US Air Force speech for misguided meyhem.
   And before the Iraqis and their apologists get too overheated about the looting, let us remind ourselves of the nationality of the looters. Not the 'liberators', not the hated Yanks or the Brits; it was all self-inflicted by the Iraqi people.

A Change Of Direction

April 17th : Iraq is history; the war in Ulster is back on the Guardian's front page. And before Iraq slips below the news horizon into the pit of discards -- a violent protest in Athens against that war in mid-April when it was pretty well over? What was that all about; other than Greek hooligans using it as an excuse for running riot and smashing things?
Blunk Has A Bright Idea
The Home Secretary has promised to round up all Iraqi refugees and repatriate them now that their country is safe again. Mindful of his success in repatriating Afghan 'refugees' once Afghanistan had been made safe [about 39 out of 26,000], everyone else is saying, "Yeah, Right!"

Iraq's Only War Hero Looted!

Mr. Ali Mingash was credited with shooting down a US Apache helicopter with his rifle, following the example of his fearless leader [pictured left]. Mr. Gadaffy, the Libyan leader, awarded him a medal. The World's Favourite Despot (pro tem) rewarded the farmer-hero in cold cash to the tune of 50,000,000 dinars (14K).
   But the gloss went off his accomplishment when looters turned up at Mr. Mingash's home in Karballa to beat him up and steal all his money. Only a seriously criminal nation could treat its war heroes with such contempt.

World's Favourte Despot Looted, Too!
Trust the Yanks to come up with some real loot. Soldiers snooping around cottages in an exclusive area of Baghdad battered their way into a sealed building and found 40 aluminium boxes, each of the packed with $4,000,000 in uncirculated notes. They widened the search and raised the total of boxes to 164. The grand total of the loot, which came in a variety of currencies including sterling and US dollars, reached a staggering $656,000,000.
   One enterprising GI had the initiative to stash 600,000 in a nearby tree, but he failed to get away with his personal loot. A US Treasury spokesman promised that the cash would be held 'for the people of Eye-rack'. After the US military has recovered the cost of the cruise missiles and other expensive munitions used in the war of liberation, of course!

The Way Ahead

Prez Bush is planning to remove thousands of troops from Germany, and close their bases, to bring to an end an occupation which has lasted since World War II -- for 57 years, in fact.
   Taking this as a model, the US troops in Iraq can expect to be pulled out in 2060. It may be a coincidence, but this is a year for which a major astronomical event has been predicted -- a comet or a large meteor impact.
   The conspiracy theorists and the prophets of doom are now on double overtime! Will the Death Rock hit the Middle East? And will the Yanks be able to get the oil out in time? Only time will tell.


GRAND PRIX NEWS

Forces of Evil Fails To Prosper In Brazil

When the rain came down and down in Brazil, they blamed the tyre manufacturers for changing the rules and allowing only one type of wet-weather tyre. The tyre companies had brought Intermediates when a serious Brazilian rainstorm required Full Wets. But when the race finally got going, we were treated to a demolition derby full of interest. And the Forces of Evil Schumacher going into the tyre wall had to be a sign that the universe won't put up with him forever.
   Congratulations to Mr. Raikkonen for winning his second GP. Hard Luck to Mr. Coulthard for making a pit stop 2 laps early when he could have won it.
   Commiserations also, but not too many, to Mr. Barrichello for being stuck with the crap Ferrari, which just quit on him when he looked like winning.


HUBRIS NEWS

Mandela No Longer Fireproof

Once upon a time, Winnie Mandela was the 'Mother of All Presidential Wives' and she could do no wrong. Except that behind the adulation, she was associated with a dodgy bunch of thugs, who were torturing and murdering like mad, and she was involved in getting bank loans for bogus members of the ANC Women's League. Now, the gloss has faded from South Africa's equivalent of Idi Amin, and she's headed for a short spell in gaol and a spot of gentle community service.


FOOD NEWS

Publicity Through Outrage

Cadbury's have certainly won themselves a ton of publicity from their scheme to give away sports equipment tokens with their chocolate products. The foodies are leading the charge, pointing out that a kid would have to spend £70 on high fat, high calorie products to get a £10 basketball -- and then play with it for 90 hours to burn off all the calories. But is that going to happen? Of course, it isn't -- but not for the obvious reason.
Mr. A. Hussein   Mr. Albert Hussein, the official spokesman for Downing Street's Public Enlightenment Executive, has assured the trembling British public that Vice-Prez Blair is on top of the problem. As soon as he runs out of things to do abroad, and if he doesn't have a freebie holiday available, he intends to make fatness illegal.
   "The British are essentially law-abiding," Mr. Hussein said. "And they will embrace thinness to avoid the severe penalties which will be introduced (judges permitting). And so the problem will go away.
   "And if that doesn't work," he added, "Vice-Prez Blair will let the Mugger introduce a Fatness Tax which, he believes, will provide new billions for the NHS."


ART NEWS

What's It Worth Today?

The Fortification of Paris with Houses -- Vincent Van Gogh
Amazing how the price of something escalates when it's been stolen. The three drawings nicked (briefly) from the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester were worth £1million on the Monday after the Saturday night burglary, according to the Grauniad, and £2million according to the Daily Mail.
   By the time the papers got to print the news of the recovery of the drawings the next day -- dumped in a public lavatory in Whitworth Park, cue a load of Loo-vre jokes -- their combined value had risen to £4million.
   Makes you wonder how long the thieves would have to hang on to them to get the combined value up into the billions ...


BUNG NEWS

Give And Ye Shall Get In Abundance

PowderJect, the company headed by New Labour bunger Paul Drayson, was awarded a deal to provide anti-anthrax injections for British going troops in Iraq. The deal went through 'on the nod' in dead secrecy and avoiding the usual tendering processes. The Department of Defence and Stealth is pleading 'national security', which is a pretty good indication that a guilty secret has been exposed. A rival company dropped out of the bidding process when it realized that the vaccine specified was aimed specifically at PowderJect's product rather than their own. PowderJect seems to be doing rather too well out of its £100K bung to Vice-Prez Blair's outfit.

Another New Labour bunger, Lakshmi Mittal, seems to be manoeuvring to grab parts of the former, and still ailing, British Steel. Vice-Prez Blair backed a bid by Mr. Mittal to buy up the rival Romanian steel industry with the totally bogus excuse that he was helping a British company. Someone else seems to be on course to do even better out of his bung of £125K.


DEPARTURES

   CONCORDE

ConcordBritish Airways and Air France have announced plans to consign the world's only supersonic passenger airliner to museums. Concorde's demise was hastened by the combined effects of the crash on 2000/07/25 (which was caused by the French failing to keep their runways clear of lethal debris) and the chicken-heartedness of travellers when there are a few mad hijackers around.
   In the meantime, customers have until October to take advantage of one of the reduced price, last chance, dead cheap, 2-grand tickets and a chance to boast that they flew on the best aircraft in the whole history of aviation, bar none.


This Month's GarbageThe Garbage

The Vikings weren't thieving, murdering scumbags, they were peaceful farmers and traders.

Giving thuggish schoolkids a Mars bar to bribe them to give it a rest for half an hour.

 
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 back to topCreated for Romiley Anarchists' League by workers in revolt against oppression.
RAL, April 2003.